In Part 1 of How My Weight Journey Taught me the Secret, I told you about my first true weight struggle. I learned about appreciating my body and find balance because of this experience.
What Happened Next
Afterwards, I struggled to keep the balance when various life events came my way, but I did an OK job, up until I met my husband. During that time, between dating him and some hormonal changes I had going on, I ended up putting on a good bit of weight again. The same amount I did Freshman year of college. But it was different this time. This time, I continued to exercise (not every day, or even every week, but enough to feel strong and maintain my physical health and my mental health). I carried the weight differently than the first time, and I decided I was okay with this for the time being.
Why This Was Ok
I was ok with it because I still felt good. And because I realized that my priorities were different than they were just a few short years before. I realized that a person’s weight is a relative and subjective truth. It doesn’t matter if I look like the insta-famous fitness models. What matters is that I am healthy and happy. And I was! For me that simply meant that I was active when I wanted to be and eating healthy meals when I wanted to. It also meant that I would watch movies and TV with Dan and have dessert when I feel like it.
Wedding Weight Loss
December 12, 2014, Dan popped the question 🙂 I was beyond happy that I was going to spend the rest of my life with this amazing man who loved me and would one day make an amazing father.
We got right to wedding planning and set a date for exactly one year later. I knew I wanted to get in shape for the wedding, but decided I absolutely did not want to spend my engagement miserable on a diet. I also didn’t want to hurt myself or burn myself out by over-exercising. So, I thought about everything I learned in college and as a dietitian and everything I knew about myself and my personality, and I realized that the secret is NOURISHMENT! I stopped restricting calories, and ate more than I ever had before and LOST weight.
When it came to exercise, I started slowly. Seriously, I was only exercising 3 days per week for 20 minutes when I first got engaged. By the time the wedding came around, I was exercising between 45-90 mins per day, 6 days per week, and it wasn’t even difficult. It felt natural. Like part of my life. I varied the intensity (I never ever did an intense workout for more than 30 mins btw), and made sure I was never overdoing it. By the end of the year, not only did I fit in my wedding dress, I also hiked 2 volcanoes and a waterfall on our honeymoon. If I had been depriving myself all year, those things would not have been possible.
I knew deep down that I had reached my goals, and I knew that I had found nourishment to be the big secret. But there was still something missing to this secret. I thought that because I had done it right, that I would maintain my weight after the wedding. But I was wrong. I gained it all back. Why? I worked so hard, how could I just throw it all away? I was so angry at myself, and I really beat myself up. My mean girl was out of control.
What To Do About It
I took a step back and did some soul searching. I realized what was missing while pouring over my wedding photos one day. My appreciation. How DUMB. I KNEW from my previous struggle that this was so important. But I was so busy planning the wedding and trying to make my body “wedding ready” that I forgot to take care of my mind, and so I lost my appreciation for my body and for the goals that I reached. When the wedding was over, because I had taken it for granted, I slipped back into old habits. I stopped planning healthy meals, and I cut way back on exercise. And I gained it all back.
The New Plan
That’s when I decided I needed a different kind of goal. Of course, I aimed to eat healthy and stay active. But fitness and weight loss were no longer my objectives. My new objective was to re-embrace myself and my body and learn to appreciate it again. It was not easy for me, but I stayed strong and got to a point where I did appreciate my body and felt good about it. And without it being my main goal, I did also end up losing some weight.
Reaching my New Goal
The first time I realized that I reached my new goal was during my best friend’s wedding that Fall. My weight was higher than it was one year before, and yet I felt more amazing about myself and more confident than I did at my own wedding!
This is a tough journey to do alone! Fortunately, you don’t have to. Download my free guide 5 Steps to Take Now to Stop Calorie Counting for Good to get started and don’t hesitate to ask questions or get my personal help!